Thursday, 8 December 2016

Japfa International Masters Tournament Jakarta 2016 Round 7

  I rarely play the  Sicilian defense but whenever I see during my preparation that my opponent plays something other than an open Sicilian, I wheel it out. "But you play anti- Sicilians too" I hear you protest. Yes, that is why I know they are all crap. White can equalise in some of them but not the way my opponent played today.

Many years ago I coached a 12 year old David Smerdon a few times and remember trying to convince him to play the open Sicilian to no avail. Even at that age he had enormous tactical  ability, great concentration and fighting spirit. The only weakness I saw was his addiction to his tricky pet opening systems like the 2.c3 Sicilian. I failed 😢

For todays game I drew inspiration from the games of Levon Aronian, who played this system in some games. It worked like a charm until I second guessed myself with 10...Qc6? instead of the planned 10....bc6. My justification was not to weaken my pawns but the price is taking my queen off the 5th rank where she is very active and giving white the d4 square because the c6 pawn could move to c5 controlling the d4 square. Capture towards the centre!

This blunder allowed white to equalise (at least) so when I saw the opportunity to bail with a Rook sac I took it.

Lunch, a swim and then another game. All good 😀

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